Abstract guidelines

Aims and scope
Abstracts should be relevant to the congress delegates, who are a mix of first opinion clinicians and clinical specialists, dermatopathologists, clinician-scientists, interns graduate students and residents. While basic science studies are welcome these should be of direct interest to this audience. For example, studies involving humans or mouse models are unlikely to be considered, unless they deliver important information about the mechanism or treatment of an veterinary skin disease.

Single case reports or small case series are not encouraged unless they provide new and useful information on a novel disease, or clinical signs, diagnosis, histopathology or treatment of an existing animal skin disease relevant to the congress delegates. The information should also be relevant to an international audience - first case reports from a single country are unlikely to be considered. These cases are better suited for local or regional veterinary meetings.

Abstract requirements
Incomplete or inappropriate abstracts will be rejected. Potential reasons for this rejection might include:
• Abstracts stating ‘results will be provided’ or ‘results will be discussed’.
• Abstracts reporting the discovery of a mutation in a genetic disease that does not provide the name of the mutated gene because of patent protection or any other reasons
• Abstracts with incomplete data - wherever possible, data should include numbers of animals, actual values and a measure of variance (e.g. SD or 95% confidence intervals); authors should avoid only reporting percentage changes or p-values
• Abstracts that have been presented at national or international medical or veterinary dermatology meetings or published in a journal; previously published data may be part of the new submission, but the new abstract must report a substantial amount of novel data that have never been previously presented
• Abstracts with undeclared conflicts of interest
• Abstracts that exceed the word limit
• Abstracts submitted in the wrong format 
• Abstracts that would need considerable editing for publication in English in Veterinary Dermatology

Abstract structure and format
Abstracts must be complete, relevant, balanced and written in good quality English. This will facilitate the review and selection process by the SOC and very likely increase the impact for readers after publication in the journal Veterinary Dermatology. Accepted abstracts will be edited by the Scientific Organising Committee, but authors for whom English is a second language are strongly advised to have their abstract reviewed before submission. An English grammar-checking programme such as www.grammarly.com can be very useful.

The following structure is strongly recommended when writing a balanced and well-designed abstract:
• One to two sentences on the background for the study or the case report; this should simply justify the study and not attempt to review the literature
• One sentence clearly stating the main objective(s)
• A summary of the methods (no more than one-third of the abstract length)
• A summary of the main results (no more than one-third of the abstract length)
• A one-sentence concluding statement

Abstracts should be formatted as follows:
• Length: 250 words excluding title, authors, affiliation, source of funding and conflicts of interest
• No images, tables, graphs or references
• Source(s) of funding must be stated
   o Authors should state ‘self-funded’ if appropriate
   o All other sources of funding should be named giving the full title of each funding body
• Conflict(s) of interest must be stated
   o Authors should state ‘none declared’ if appropriate
   o All other potential conflicts of interest must be stated in full
   o It is the author's responsibility to consider where there may be conflicts of interest

General advice on abstract format
i. Drug names are based on the rINN system – e.g. please use cefalexin, meticillin, ciclosporin – see journal guidelines for more details.
ii. Where products are mentioned, include the manufacturer’s name and address e.g. ciclosporin (Atopica: Novartis Animal Health, Greensboro, NC, USA).
iii. Drug doses, frequencies and routes of administration should be reported (e.g mg/kg; once or twice daily)
iv. Laboratory data is reported in appropriate units (e.g. IU units).
v. Breed names are adjectives, not nouns, so it is Siamese cat, not "Siamese" or Labrador retriever, not Labrador.
vi. Breed names are capitalised only if they are proper names, e.g. German shepherd dog not German Shepherd Dog, mixed breed dog, not Mixed Breed Dog.
vii. Numbers up to 10 should be spelled out unless associated with time (days, weeks, months, etc.)
viii. It is acceptable to summarise data as follows, to conserve text: 3/9 dogs.
ix. Use the following abbreviations: h for hours, min for min, sec for seconds.
x. Units of measurement should be given as (e.g.) 16.5 g/m2/h (e.g. is for TEWL).

Presentation formats
The SOC will allocate accepted abstracts for poster and/or short oral presentations of 3 to 12-minute length. The decision will be based on the type of abstract, type of data, likely impact and availability of facilities. Authors will be informed of the format for their presentation when the abstract is accepted.

Accepted abstracts
Acceptance of an abstract does not entitle any of the authors to complimentary congress registration, social events, accommodation or travel. The corresponding author should acknowledge acceptance of these conditions by the deadline included in the acceptance letter or the abstract will be withdrawn. Authors should also answer any queries and approve editorial changes by the stated deadline following correspondence with the SOC.

No changes to final accepted versions of abstracts will be possible. The presentation must reflect the data presented in the submitted and accepted abstract. Any unavoidable change of presenting author should be communicated to the Scientific Organising Committee as soon as possible.

Authors that wish to withdraw an abstract should notify the SOC Chair as soon as possible.

Example of successful abstracts
Example of abstracts of different types studies, which were scored highly when reviewed for presentation at the 2017 Congress in Lausanne, can be found here .